Nigeria seeds N500m for software development
SOFTWARE| Nov. 12, 2012, 8:56 p.m.
By Kokumo Goodie, Lagos, Nigeria
The Federal Government of Nigeria has taken a bold step toward ensuring that the ICT sector contributes significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) of the nation.
The government said it has seeded N500 million as part of the USD15m Technology Venture Capital Fund required to grow the nation's local software sector through a software incubation programmes across the country.
Addressing a forum on software incubation in Lagos, the Minister of Communications Technology, Mrs. Omobola Johnson, said the N500m would be seeded through the Nigeria Information Technology Development Fund (NITDEF), stressing that the government seed fund would attract the remaining USD12 million from investors both locally and internationally.
She said it is part of efforts to grow the software sub-sector of the ICT industry and make it contribute substantially to to the GDP, adding that the pilot project will be established in Lagos and Calabar, the Cross River State capital.
Johnson said the e-Learning Centre would host the software incubation centre in Lagos while Tinapa Knowledge City would house the Cross River State Innovation centre.
Rather than being government-owned, the minister said the innovation centres would be 'government-inspired' or 'government- catalysed' but would eventually be run by a non profit organisation to be set up soon.
According to her, government would initially provide the enabling environment for the proper take off of the incubation centres and later step aside and allow the centres to have lives of their own.
Specifically, the minister said the software incubation programme would initially be government-funded with the aim of attracting more investors in the long run.
Johnson said Lagos and Calabar would serve as pilots, stating that the Lagos Innovation Centre would take off before the end of the year.
"We have chosen two different locations for test pilots. We will deliver Lagos by year end or early next year. Calabar will be delivered by end of the first quarter of 2013," the minister romised.
Ms. Helen Anatogu, programme manager in charge of the implementation of the software incubation programme, in a presentation, revealed that the Federal Government planned to have established six incubation software incubation centres by the end of 2015.
Some of the potential locations for other software incubation centres, according to the presentation, include Abeokuta, Enugu, Ife and Abuja which she said were chosen based on parameters like presence of large students and availability of tertiary institutions in the areas.
The focus of the software incubation programme and centres, according to her, include enterprise software development, linguistic software, custom programming, mobile software, business intelligence and gaming.
Essentially targeted at students, start-ups and software development companies, she disclosed that the programme would offer business and technological training, access to software development tools at no cost, use of facilities and computer resources for development purposes, mentoring, assistance with marketing and promotion, as well as access to finance.
According to her the models adopted were adapted from that of Egypt, India, US and Kenya.
MORE SOFTWARE NEWS
4 Signs that it is time to replace your ERP systemIt is a good idea to do a frequent gap analysis to see whether your ERP system still meets your needs. Read More
Sage ERP X3 helps Brent Oil keep pace with volatile industryBrent Oil, South Africa's largest and fastest-growing non-refining fuel wholesaler, has implemented the Sage ERP X3 enterprise application suite to tighten financial controls, improve efficiencies, and streamline its business processes. Read More
Barnstone launches ‘try before you buy’ SAP Hana optionBarnstone has launched a “try before you buy” offering to give companies a risk-free opportunity to try out SAP Hana technology without any significant investment. Read More
Focus Softnet appoints Future Kenya as strategic partnerFocus Softnet, a leading global ERP and software solutions development company, has signed Future Kenya as its new partner in Kenya. Read More
Office 365 launched in BotswanaMicrosoft has launched its newest Windows operating system, Office 365, in Botswana. Read More
Schneider Electric announces Magelis GTUSchneider Electric has announced Magelis GTU, the new high performance HMI with smartphone-like navigation. Read More
Microsoft brings Office 365 to more African countriesMicrosoft has announced the availability of Office 365 in six new territories across sub-Saharan Africa. Read More
New version of Schneider Electric’s StruxureWare Plant Operation Ampla now availableSchneider Electric has announced that a new version of Ampla, its innovative software that delivers a dynamic view of process performance, has been made available for the southern African market. Read More
How the cloud helps SMEs tidy up the IT messThe cloud offers SMEs a number of benefits when it comes to security and business continuity, saysSage Pastel Accounting. Read More
VMware introduces industry’s most comprehensive virtual desktop and application portfolioBuilding on AirWatch by VMware Mobility Momentum, VMware Horizon FLEX will further enable IT to embrace BYO and Macs in the enterprise with local virtual desktops. Read More
FEATURED STORYUCC launches 2015 ACIA awards
Uganda has launched the fifth Annual Communications and Innovation Awards, which celebrate and foster ICT innovation and achievement.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHKenya’s digital TV battle hots up
Kenya’s journey to Digital TV broadcasting took a new turn this week, when the Communication Authority of Kenya (CAK) accused three local media firms of intent to disrupt the process.